|Magnitude vs. Intensity|
This report describes how measurements of earthquake magnitude, as quantified by the Richter Scale, have gradually replaced measurements of intensity, as characterized by the Modified Mercalli scale. Topics include the advantages of the Richter Scale, such as open-endedness, its purely instrumental measure which doesn't require observers' reports, and its usefulness for measuring earthquakes located far from the nearest settlement (for example, beneath the ocean). It also discusses how intensity studies have developed into more quantifiable measurements of peak ground acceleration and velocity, and how intensity reports can help assess how heavily site effects contribute to the earthquake hazard of a given area.
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Copyright 2002 Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. All rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-006-736
This resource is part of 'SCEC Education Module: Investigating Earthquakes through Regional Seismicity'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)